Engel initiated both letters. The letter also included 15 New York lawmakers. Both letters make the same argument — that the president has broad authority under the 1968 Gun Control Act to impose a stricter ban on the importation of certain guns. “The Gun Control Act prohibits the importation into the United States of any firearm that is not ‘generally recognized as particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes,’" the letter states. “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has already said that this ban includes ‘semiautomatic assault rifles’ with ‘military configuration features.’" The administration’s current policy excludes only “specific parts and components," the letter said. President George H. W. Bush imposed a ban on military-style assault weapons after five children were killed and 30 teachers and students were wounded in 1989 at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California.